Wikileaks ACTA cables confirm it was a screwjob for the global poor

Quadrature du Net's repository of #cablegate cables related to ACTA, the secretive copyright treaty reveal that governments all over the world were pissed off that the USA and Japan wouldn't let them discuss the treaty with their citizens and industry.

More importantly, they explicitly confirm that the reason that ACTA was negotiated in secret among rich countries was that this was seen as the most expeditious way of getting a super-extreme copyright agreement passed with a minimum of fuss, and that all the poor countries who were excluded from the negotiation would later be coerced into agreeing to it.

The cables note that critics wanted ACTA to take place before an existing body like WIPO, where processes were in place for transparency and for the involvement of public interest groups. But cables from the US embassy in Japan make clear that the US pushed back against this approach, in large part because it knew other nations wouldn't go along with what it wanted: "a plurilateral, TRIPS-plus Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which would aim to set a 'gold standard' for IPR enforcement among a small number of like-minded countries, and which other countries might aspire to join."

US Trade Representative official Stan McCoy "stressed that this should be a freestanding agreement, not related to any international grouping such as the G-8 or OECD, which might make it more difficult to construct a high-standards agreement."

In other words, what we got was a "coalition of the willing" bent on creating tough new enforcement rules that they would slowly seek to impose on other countries.

As a Japanese trade official noted, "we should move as fast as possible and keep in mind that the intent of the agreement is to address the IPR problems of third-nations such as China, Russia, and Brazil, not to negotiate the different interests of like-minded countries. The new agreement could serve as a yardstick for measuring the market economy status of countries such as China and Russia."

WikiLeaks Cables Shine Light on ACTA History (Quadrature du Net)

(Secret) US cables reveal: ACTA was far too secret (Ars Technica)

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